Over 100,000 new cases of colon cancer will be diagnosed in the United States this year and 50,000 people will die from the disease. Those are staggering statistics. Colon cancer, also known as colorectal cancer, is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in the U.S., according to the American Cancer Society: Cancer Facts and Figures 2012.
Why does this matter? Because colon cancer in many cases is preventable. The CDC estimates that at least 6 out of every 10 deaths from colorectal cancer could be prevented if all men and women aged 50 years or older were screened routinely. Not only does screening assist in identifying precancerous growths, but screening also finds cancers in the early stages, when there is a greater chance that treatment will be effective and lead to a cure.
How do more veggies fit in?
Well, a recent study showed that younger and younger individuals are being diagnosed with colon cancer. This is a newer trend, because historically it is a disease that affects individuals aged 50+. But what the information indicates, as reported in the Taipei Times, is that “a lack of consumption of vegetables is the main cause of younger people developing the cancer.” This may well be true for all that develop colon cancer. But, according to the EU, the consumption of about 28.5g of fiber daily can decrease a person’s likelihood of developing colon cancer by 33%. Sounds like fiber is the way to go! (see previous posts regarding the benefits of fiber and reducing our risk factors)
In addition, other research suggests that by incorporating more fruits and vegetables into our diet, we can reduce our risk of colon cancer, other cancers, and many other chronic diseases. Increasing our intake of fruits and veggies is a win-win. They provide essential vitamins and minerals, fiber, and other substances that are important for good health. They assist us in managing our weight, and are naturally low in fat (and calories) and are filling.
So, in light of this research, I’ll be having more veggies, please. You?
- Iowa Promotes Colon Cancer Awareness with Coasters (kcrg.com)
- What you need to know about colon cancer (pix11.com)
- Killing Cancer, Routine Procedures Keep You Healthy (scienceworldreport.com)
- Fighting Colon Cancer (nlm.nih.gov)
- Diet and colon cancer link [Simon Radley] (ecademy.com)
- Can a new vaccine prevent colon cancer? (futurity.org)